Money Saving Plumbing Tips For Homeowners and Renters

Whether you own or rent your home, you can benefit from knowing a few plumbing tips. These helpful hints will help you prevent major expenses and fix minor issues.

Minerals from your water can deposit inside shower heads and faucet aerators. These deposits can reduce water flow and even alter the path of the water. Any easy trick to remove built-up minerals is to soak faucet aerators and shower heads in vinegar. Allow them to soak for several hours to dissolve the mineral build-up. Gently scrub or wipe to help open the holes and then rinse with water.

Preventing Clogged Pipes

Grease build-up inside pipes can cause major clogs. In order to prevent this build-up, pour kitchen grease and oil into an empty can and dispose in the garbage instead of pouring it down your drain. To help remove any existing accumulation, periodically pour a cup of baking soda and then a cup of vinegar into your drain. Chemical drain cleaners should be avoided if possible because they can damage some kinds of metal pipes and parts.

Another way to prevent clogs is to use drain guards or strainers. Drain guards can be used in tubs and sinks to stop hair and other matter from entering the drain pipe. These guards need to be cleaned on a regular basis, but do a good job of keeping your pipes free of materials likely to form clogs. Likewise, installing a lint trap on the discharge hose of your washing machine will also prevent clog causing bits from entering the drain.

Periodically running your garbage disposal full of ice and either rock salt or vinegar will help keep it clean and free of unpleasant odors. Run it for about thirty seconds. To preserve the life of your garbage disposal, avoid using drain cleaners as they can damage the disposal.

Leaks and Drips

Leaking faucets and toilets are like dripping money down your drain in addition to the wasted water. Faucet drips can be checked for visually. Make a point of checking exterior faucets in addition to interior ones. Your toilets can be checked for leaks by removing the lid of the toilet tank and adding food coloring to the tank water. Let it sit and then check back in half an hour to see if the colored water leaked into the toilet bowl.

If you can’t find a leak but still suspect you have one, make a note of your water meter’s reading as you leave home for an extended period, such as for work, when you know that no water will be used in your absence. Read the meter again when you return. If the reading is different when you return, chances are you have a leak and may need assistance from a plumber.

Hot Water Tank

The life expectancy and efficiency of your water heater can both be improved by twice yearly draining sediment out of your water heater. Plan ahead with this project because you will be draining scalding water. Pets and children should be prevented from entering the work area as well as the water discharge area. Because draining instructions differ between gas and electric models, be sure to read the instructions particular to your water heater.

Emergency Shut Off Valve

Because a plumbing emergency can result in a lot of damage occurring very quickly, each member of your household should be instructed in how to locate and operate the water shut-offs in your home. Make sure to provide instruction on operating both the main shut-off and those for toilets, sinks, tubs, showers, and washing machines. Probably the most important thing will be to have a local plumbers Vancouver phone number handy, in a location everyone knows about. The last thing you want to be fumbling around for is contact information of a plumbing service provider you can trust.

If you happen to live in the lower mainland, or Fraser valley area in southern BC, then we recommend this company.

K.C.’s Plumbing and Heating Ltd
1896 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC V5N 2S7
(604) 873-3753

Plumbing Fixtures and Designs

Custom clean-out covers from Creative Cleanout Covers are designed for homeowners and businesses looking to add a decorative touch to the traditional chrome clean-out.

The 5 1/2- (Hermosa Dome, Laguna Dome, Square) and 6-inch (Hermosa Flat, Laguna Flat, custom Seashell) UV-resistant covers are available in six designs and five finishes, including unpainted. Custom designs are available. Colors include Beachnut Bronze, Seaside Silver, Glamour Gold, Newport Copper and Paint Grade White (paintable).

The concept for the cover came from company founder Duane Heaton, a master plumber with 30 years experience.

“For so many years, we’ve only had this chrome plate that we’ve been putting on these very unique custom homes and some nice commercial products that we do down here in Orange County (California),” he says.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people tell me, ‘This isn’t acceptable on my house. Is there anything you can do about it? Is there anything better out there?’ And the answer is always, no. So I got the idea to come up with my own line of designer cleanout covers.”

Made from injection-molded ABS plastic, the covers snap into place using a rare earth magnet.

“We still have a screw behind the plate that screws into the clean-out plug in the wall,” Heaton says. “We adjust that screw to the correct depth and click on the magnetic cover. It has 22 pounds of pull strength.”

A notch on the side of the cover enables it to be removed using a screwdriver.

Designed for indoor and outdoor use, applications include residential and commercial retrofits, new construction, hotels and restaurants.